The opera explores the drama surrounding the Carmelites of Compiegne, sixteen Carmelite nuns (cloistered) sentenced to death in July 1794 by the Revolutionary Tribunal on the grounds of "fanaticism and sedition." Arrested and convicted at the height of the Terror, they had two years earlier, vowed to give their lives to "appease the wrath of God and the divine peace that his dear Son came to bring the world." Their peaceful death on the scaffold impressed the crowd and was one of the many seminal events that put an end to this dark chapter in post-Revolutionary France.
Francis POULENC (1899-1963).
Dialogues des Carmélites , FP 159
Opera in three acts and twelve scenes., French libretto based on the play by Georges Bernanos (with autoristation Emmet Lavery), according to a novella by Gertrud von Le Fort and scenario by Raymond Leopold Bruckberger and Philippe Agostini
Le marquis de la Force, Xavier Depraz
Le chevalier de la Force, son fils, Paul Finel
Blanche de la Force, plus tard « sœur Blanche de l'Agonie-du-Christ », sa fille, Denise Duval
Mme de Croissy, dite mère Henriette de Jésus, la première prieure, Rita Gorr
Sœur Constance de Saint-Denis, novice, Liliane Berton
Mme Lidoine, dite mère Thérèse de Saint-Augustin, la nouvelle prieure, Régine Crespin
Conductor: Pierre Dervaux
Orchestra/Ensemble: National Theater Opera Orchestra of Paris, National Theater Opera Chorus of Paris